Preparing for Ragweed Season
||The yellow, powdery springtime pollen has disappeared, but for the 36 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), their allergy season is only beginning.
Ragweed is the number one cause of hay fever. Ragweed, which refers to about 15 different species in the sunflower family, blooms from mid-August through October. The pollen from the ragweed plant is an extremely potent allergen. Each ragweed plant produces about a billion pollen grains per season, and these tiny grains can travel up to 400 miles due to their light weight!
Another problem with ragweed is that it's everywhere. It grows in fields and along roadsides, and even allergy sufferers in big cities cannot escape the wrath of ragweed since the plant grows in abundance in vacant urban lots.
Ragweed allergy causes Americans to miss 3.8 million days of work or school each year. Eighty percent of ragweed allergy sufferers experience trouble sleeping, which leads to problems at work or school. Of the ragweed allergy sufferers who are able to go to work, one-third of them report decreased efficiency.
According to a 2002 study, ragweed allergies can also lead to significant mental and motivational fatigue, mood swings, and depression. It makes sense that people who are physically sick are often in bad moodsespecially if they're having trouble sleeping, too.
If you suffer from ragweed allergy, be prepared for a particularly nasty ragweed season. The hot, dry summer will cause very high ragweed pollen counts. Keep your windows closed to keep the pollen outside, and be aware than pollen also gets inside your house by sticking to your shoes, clothing, bags, and pets. Usewindow filters to make sure those tiny pollen grains stay outside. Use air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers to cool, dry out, and clean the air.
Stay indoors when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen counts are normally between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Keep your car windows closed when driving, and use a portable air purifier in your car for added protection. When you have to go outside, take a shower as soon as you get back inside because pollen sticks to your hair and skin.
It is very important to minimize your exposure to other known allergens during ragweed season because allergy symptoms appear whenever your immune system's Total Allergen Load reaches its maximum level. Avoid any irritating chemicals or odors, and encase your mattress and pillows with allergy relief bedding. And if you're having trouble sleeping, there's no better solution than one of our air purifiers.